Sasktel Max HDTV Discussion - Page 9 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #121 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-02-17, 02:40 PM
 
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Sam ol' same ol'

I'm using optical audio
As for the rest...Iam just going by what the SaskTel guy told me

Last edited by adodd; 2007-02-17 at 03:13 PM.
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post #122 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-02-19, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adodd View Post
he said they have a programming team which is working in conjunction with Motorola to get firmware upgrades out as soon as they can...about one a week he said. These upgrades do not take effect until the box is reset.

I asked him if it mattered how far away you are from the end of the fiber, and he said not really, they have boxes right in their building that have the same problems. I quizzed him on PVRs and he said they were hoping within the next few weeks to have firmware out for that. I asked if our current boxes had hard drives in them and he said that yes, they did. I said a PVR will be no good anyway, because it will be frozen and the sound will be crap anyway.
I started working at Sasktel just before Christmas at the tail end of the HD nightmares. It was around Mid-Late January, a major firmware update was pushed out to all Set Top Boxes. From what I hear (and seems to be accurate judging by the calls I take), this is supposed to have resolved all Freezing/Pixelizing that is related to problems with the box itself. That accounts for about 80-90 percent of the HD freezing problems that people have been experiencing, so things are a lot better than they were in the past. You should no longer see the 5-10 second freezing as a result of the box. If that is happening there are other issues at hand.

From this point on, any freezing/pixelizing is likely related to either the source feed, the modem, or you could be too far from the source.
The guy you talked to was correct to say "not really" about the distance thing, because at the time most of the problems were because of the boxes. Now that is cleared up, so distance is a possibility if problems still remain.

About PVR - Not out yet. Definitely not this month, but could be by spring/summer 07.

Also, if you have the Homenet Gateway (most HD customers do), and wireless is enabled. That is known to cause problems if the wireless strength is set too high (the default setting should be fine). Fortunately, if you have other TVs in the house you will be provided a 2nd modem, and internet goes through that instead. So the likelyhood that wireless is enabled on the HD connection is very small. Wireless is disabled by default.
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post #123 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-02-22, 10:56 AM
 
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started working at Sasktel just before Christmas at the tail end of the HD nightmares. It was around Mid-Late January, a major firmware update was pushed out to all Set Top Boxes. From what I hear (and seems to be accurate judging by the calls I take), this is supposed to have resolved all Freezing/Pixelizing that is related to problems with the box itself. That accounts for about 80-90 percent of the HD freezing problems that people have been experiencing, so things are a lot better than they were in the past. You should no longer see the 5-10 second freezing as a result of the box. If that is happening there are other issues at hand.

Everyone I know who has max hd (about 5 people) still say it's constantly freezing, etc. Judging by how long it took regular max to start working properly (about 3 years it seems like) I don't think Max hd will work perfectly for a while...
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post #124 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-22, 02:58 AM
 
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Just to clear the air a bit in here, I will tell you exactly what bandwidth the various services consume.

The maximum downstream bandwidth Sasktel will provision right now is around 14mbps on one pair (modem). ADSL2+ is capable of more, but 14mbps is challenging enough when it comes to the condition of the copper line from the premises to the DSLAM.

HDTV takes around 9mbps, although the service is usually provisioned for around 12.

If you have HD, the most you can get with one modem is HDTV, plus "regular" high speed, ie... the high speed internet gets whatever bandwidth is left over. When the maximum bandwidth they could offer was 7, the TV and Internet service was provisioned similarly.

The regular standard definition STBs require around 3mbps a piece.

Highspeed Plus is 5mbps downstream.

On one modem you can have up to 4 standard STBs (4x3), or up to 3 STBs and HS plus ((3x3)+5).

It used to be they would give you a second modem if you ordered high speed plus, but now you will only get a second modem if you have HD and/or more than 3 STBs.

I'm assuming if you wanted 5mbps internet and 4 standard def STBs, you would get two modems as well.

Last edited by captaintrav; 2007-03-22 at 03:08 AM.
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post #125 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-22, 03:12 AM
 
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You should no longer see the 5-10 second freezing as a result of the box. If that is happening there are other issues at hand.

There is still freezing as a result of the box, it's just down to 1-2 seconds now. OTOH, there are still lots of other factors that can cause freezing, and the majority of people with serious problems with the service have poor line conditions, poor ethernet wiring in the house, etc. that are correctable.
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post #126 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-26, 12:31 PM
 
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Everyone I know who has max hd (about 5 people) still say it's constantly freezing, etc. Judging by how long it took regular max to start working properly (about 3 years it seems like) I don't think Max hd will work perfectly for a while...

wishful thinking

i had regular max hooked up last week and made them run a new drop and new wiring. i made it very clear to them i want everything new in this house.

so from there telephone poll right to the box in my house was 100% new wiring.

mind you, i didnt even get the HD component, i didnt want to watch them work any longer.

im still depressed at sasktel's service, i wish they would just give it up.

on my 42" plasma, there regular tv with the box looks like garbage, huge pixels, retarded delays.

i am at a total loss for words. until they can bring fiber into the house, right to the box, which will never happen, they dont have a leg to stand on. they cant touch the capacity of cable.

the argurment about sharing bandwidth with cable... people dont realize that shaw also has fiber right to the area, they dont need to bring it to a curb because the trunk lines they use to the poll are more than enough.

i am saddly depressed at max service. even after a fresh install, 3 hours talking with tech support.. friendly, because they have to be since they have no legs to stand on.

give up sasktel.
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post #127 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-26, 05:31 PM
 
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Thought I'd share my experiences and suggestions after 2.5 months of MaxHD.

When my HD was first hooked up I had horrible freezing issues. On average of 3-4 times per hour it would freeze for almost exactly 25 seconds each time. First the picture would just freeze then it would go to the the blue "Signal unavailable" screen, then finally resume. I had the modem and STB replaced once each, firmware upgrades etc. with no significant improvement.

However, after calling sasktel a second time I got a tech to come over who actually seemed interested in tracking down my problems rather than just dropping in a new box.

First off he said that although HD and classic speed internet should theoretically be able to co-exist on one line, in general it didn't work as well. Wo we got a second modem installed. (Actually I was supposed to have plus speed internet anyway, but apparently when I switched over to HD, they downgraded me).

Secondly, he redid a bunch of the copper wiring in my basement. I don't know exactly what he did, but apparently stuff was being run through filters it didn't need to be run through, from years ago. In any case there's much less copper, and what is there is much neater than it used to be.

Thirdly, he ran various tests on the signal coming into the house. I don't remember what he said well enough to explain it but he did notice some issues with periodic dips in signal strength, and immediately made a call for someone to put a cap (or something) on the line.

These changes made a HUGE difference to the freezing. Now I see maybe one freeze-up every couple days, and instead of 25sec, it's maybe 2 sec. Little enough anyway that it doesn't bother me at all.

So overall, I have to say I'm not impressed with Sasktel's customer service in general. These issues should have been taken care of when it was first installed, not 6 weeks later after I've complained multiple times.

However, the overall picture stability after going through all this is very good, if not quite perfect (and the actual HD picture quality has been fantastic all along). I strongly recommend that if you are having problems call Sasktel and insist that they install a separate line or whatever it takes, even if the guy on the phone claims it isn't necessary.
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post #128 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-26, 08:56 PM
 
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Time for me to chime in again

I was beginning to think no one had problems any more. I am still having the same old issues...freezing nd audio. Last time I talked to SaskTel support, they said 95% of the people are satisfied. I think either someone is giving the tech support guys a BS story, or the tech guys are giving us a BS story. Not one person I know is happy with the service.

BTW, I have one router for high speed internet and regular max, and one router for HD only...so it should be ok. This is purely a software and bandwith issue in my opinion. But I think it sucks and I'm real not happy. Keep poting on here, people! It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone
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post #129 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-27, 03:04 AM
 
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Max HD fixed up... finally

I have another horror story to tell about my Max HD installation, albeit it has a happy ending.

I had the HD installed on the second day it was available, so I have lived through all the growing pains of other subscribers, but I was admittedly a worst case scenario by the tech support staff.

For over 2 months I called in, ensuring them that my problems were not exactly similar to that of the other people reporting problems, stating that I needed a home visit to rectify the problem. Less than 2 weeks after the install, my box was replaced and my lines "checked", reporting no problems. Still the freezing continued, making my service virtually unwatchable. The only thing that kept me going was that super clear picture with perfect digital surround sound during the working times, and the fact that noone else in the area can offer anything close to Max HD's service / price point.

Eventually I called in to the marketing department, not the tech support. I stated that I had called tech support at least 10 times and had not been taken care of yet. I was put through to a manager within a minute, and had an appointment set up within 45 minutes (they called me back).

As mentioned in another post I have read, the tech that arrived at my house this time was very interested in solving the problem, and seemed very knowledgeable with the system. He troubleshooted until finding the problem. It ended up being the HD Modem / router, whatever it is actually called. It was changed out and I have had flawless service ever since.

The beauty part of this problem is that I was fully refunded for the ENTIRE Max bill (not just TV, internet too!) at the end of my ordeal (~$200). I lived through alot of complaining from the Mrs. as well as frustrating times trying to watch football, but now the HD is absolutely perfect and has been running for nearly 2 months.

Hopefully everyone else with problems gets the same treatment.

Cheers
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post #130 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-27, 05:04 PM
 
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sounds like max should fire all the installers and get the service tech's to install everything
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post #131 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-30, 12:40 AM
 
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I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but I am totally satisfied with my HD Max system. I have had it now for over two months and have had very little trouble. I know quite a few people in Moose Jaw that do have it and everyone is quite impressed. I get the odd 2 second freeze a couple of times a week but its not a big deal (as long as it doesn't happen during Rider games this summer!).

Strongly recommend this product!
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post #132 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-30, 04:32 PM
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Darcarol, do you get the HiFidelity channels Treasure, Oasis, etc? Do you find them worth paying for?
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post #133 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-03-30, 05:33 PM
 
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I have those channels right now on the free promo but I won't be keeping them. They are very cool channels for showing off the HD but I find they repeat the programs almost constantly with very little new content. I do find myself checking those channels out every now and then just to view nature and architectural structures in HD. Way cool!
Before HD I never would have been bothered to turn to those channels.
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post #134 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-04-02, 02:57 AM
 
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Boss,

The installers are also the service tech's (repairmen) for phone, DSL and MAX.
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post #135 of 274 (permalink) Old 2007-04-02, 02:20 PM
 
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Getting sick of this

Well, tried to watch the Junos last night. While Three Days Grace was on, suddenly had two stripes going across the middle of gthe screen horizontally, and one big stripe going across the top of the screen. And the whole image was shaking. So I phoned the helpdesk as usual, and they told me the new firmware to fix the freezing had an unfortunate side effect...

So I kind of got mad and sarcastic, and asked him if they don't test the firmware first...why fix one bug and cause another. He assured me they do test the firmware, and that they are pioneering the first IPTV blah blah blah...and I said "Ya I know I've heard it all before". He said he had a fix for my problem, and I asked him if it involved resetting the box, and sure enough, it did. Nice to see the reset time is down to 5 minutes from 10. Still missed most of Three Days Grace and some kid from Saskatoon playing guitar.

So I'm pretty mad.

And it still froze about 8 times, for 2-5 seconds. Am I picky, or is that horrible?
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